2021 Skincare Gift Guide


I’m not sure where 2021 went but we’re fast approaching Christmas and the end of the year. It’s hard to believe it’s already almost a new year but I’m looking forward to spending time with family and friends this month – and hope you all are too.

Many of you have commented in my Facebook community asking for last minute gift ideas for the special people in your lives. This then became the inspiration for this holiday skincare gift guide. So if you’re stumped on what to get, keeping reading!

A small note: I’m naming the sections based on people that you may be shopping for like “the mother in law.” It’s just for fun, read the description below the title for everyone who may enjoy the products.

I will be keeping things as affordable as I can but will also do my best to pick favorites with nice packaging where possible since they’re being gifted. I’m also linking to sites with fast shipping as the holidays are fast approaching.

But enough with the disclaimers, let’s get into it!

Some links and codes are affiliate and the author will make a small commission if you use them. While always optional, it does help support future content and the effort put in. Thank you to all who help support this blog and my other platforms.


The Skincare Beginner

Basic routine for most skin types

If you follow me, I have a feeling you’ve fallen hard for all things skincare too. And when you’re using well formulated products with proven ingredients consistently, friends and family start asking what you’re using. Or maybe you’ve gotten them curious with all those purchases and YouTube videos playing!

You want to get them started with a routine that will work and get them excited about skincare – but without overwhelming them. Introduce them to game changers like Japanese sunscreen and double cleansing. And it’s hard to go wrong with a gentle, hydrating exfoliant and a beautiful moisturizer.

* if you can find them somewhere with fast shipping, the Isntree Watery Sun Gel and Isehan Sunkiller Perfect Water Essence are great too and have nicer packaging.


Add a personal touch: write a note listing how to use everything. Tell them to introduce products one at a time, start with the basic steps like cleansing and sunscreen, explain the order and time of day for each, and let them know that AHAs should be started slowly.

The Stubborn Man

A no frills routine designed for men

Here’s the thing. Skincare is for everyone and there isn’t any reason your father, partner, or any other male identifying person in your life can’t just use your favorite products. But because they can be influenced by marketing or society like anyone, this section is going to provide some general suggestions based on common concerns I see from men. It’s not to say this applies to everyone though.

I’ve chosen products with gender neutral packaging that offer good cleansing ability, a soft matte finish, and address common concerns like in-grown hairs after shaving. In my experience, I find this to help guys feel more comfortable as it feels like it’s more ”for them” and nothing is overly shiny. And we’re including beneficial ingredients that work quickly so they’ll see results.

Make it extra special: do your skincare routines together so they know exactly what to do! The AHA/BHA toner is great for congestion and ingrown hairs while the green tea toner is soothing post shave and protects skin under sunscreen – and both can be used with a pad if preferred. The Missha sunscreen has a soft matte finish where the Nivea is more invisible.


The Mother-in-Law

Women with more mature skin

This really will apply to anyone with more mature skin, whether you’re shopping for yourself, your mother, or your MIL. The products are more geared toward women since skin aging in women is different due to factors like estrogen deficiency.


The Acne Prone Teen

A basic routine for teens with some add-on products for acne


It’s important to stress that acne in teens is often hormonal. We can target existing breakouts but they’ll need to see a dermatologist or doctor to discuss options for prevention and further treatment.

We also want to focus on a good basic routine for overall skin health as this is essential for acne prone and helps establish good skincare habits. These products are simple but maintain an acidic skin surface and good barrier health while minimizing inflammation.


Some additional advice: Let’s be real here. A teenager may dismiss advice coming from an adult in their life, especially if you’re their parent. Unless you happen to be the cool aunt or something, I would write down some skincare influencers that appeal to a younger crowd like Hyram on YouTube or Dermagelo on TikTok.


The New Grandbaby

Products for toddlers and young children

Simple and non-irritating is the goal here. Kids really don’t need much, just a very mild cleanser and sunscreen. Maybe a moisturizer if they get dry. If they’re gentle enough, you can use for both face and body too.

  • Extra tips: if they’re dealing with keratosis pilarsis or little breakouts, Clearista can be used for kids 2 and up. Don’t forget mom though! New moms and parents of multiples can be forgotten in the excitement of shopping for the kids. A gift for a tired parent who may not always treat themselves can be extra appreciated.


The Skincare Junkie

For the person who has it all

Okay, what about shopping for your fellow skincare junkie? Chances are, unless they’ve mentioned something they really want, they have most skincare products they’d be interested in. And are probably best when it comes to shopping for themselves. That limits us a bit.

Want to add a personal touch? Share something you’ve learned about skincare from them in their card as well. Or write down some skincare creators you love and want to share with them.


The Beauty DIYer

The DIYer or professional doing skin treatments


Whether they’re a professional, a rebellious DIYer, or just someone stepping up their skincare game with treatments – this section is for them. I don’t recommend gifting anything that is beyond their current experience level.


Bonus: Plan a night together of home treatments and it’s fun for you too!


The Tired Mom

A new mom, parent of multiples, or anyone short on time or in need of self care

While you can absolutely include products from the beginner skincare gift section to cover basic skincare if it’s needed, these products are all about giving the skin a quick pick me up and/or feeling pampered.

Take it to the next level by offering to watch the kids so they can get a break or include a certificate for a facial or massage


The Forgotten Relative

AKA the last minute gift


Just realized you forgot to shop for someone on your list? Great aunt so-and-so attending and you need to have something for them? Or maybe you just need gifts for a work function or gift exchange. Whatever the reason, I’m here to help.

Here are some gifts that you can pick up at Target or another brick-and-mortar store. They should work for a wide array of skin types, ingredients are decent, and they look nice together too.


The K Beauty Addict

Anyone interested in Korean skincare

If you’re familiar with K Beauty yourself or those who love it, you probably know that many of us love discovering new finds as well as customized our routines based on our skin. Someone new to K Beauty is probably going to be more familiar with the more mainstream brands so I’m listing some brands they will likely be new to – and products even the veteran Korean skincare junkie won’t have tried yet.

Since it’s winter, you’ll see a lot of hydration and ceramides.


I really hope you all enjoyed this gift guide and it was helpful! Please comment and share this post if you wish to support my content. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday.

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